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Best Famous Sympathy Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Sympathy poems. This is a select list of the best famous Sympathy poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Sympathy poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of sympathy poems.

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Written by Friedrich von Schiller |


 Friend!--the Great Ruler, easily content,
Needs not the laws it has laborious been
The task of small professors to invent;
A single wheel impels the whole machine
Matter and spirit;--yea, that simple law,
Pervading nature, which our Newton saw.
This taught the spheres, slaves to one golden rein, Their radiant labyrinths to weave around Creation's mighty hearts: this made the chain, Which into interwoven systems bound All spirits streaming to the spiritual sun As brooks that ever into ocean run! Did not the same strong mainspring urge and guide Our hearts to meet in love's eternal bond? Linked to thine arm, O Raphael, by thy side Might I aspire to reach to souls beyond Our earth, and bid the bright ambition go To that perfection which the angels know! Happy, O happy--I have found thee--I Have out of millions found thee, and embraced; Thou, out of millions, mine!--Let earth and sky Return to darkness, and the antique waste-- To chaos shocked, let warring atoms be, Still shall each heart unto the other flee! Do I not find within thy radiant eyes Fairer reflections of all joys most fair? In thee I marvel at myself--the dyes Of lovely earth seem lovelier painted there, And in the bright looks of the friend is given A heavenlier mirror even of the heaven! Sadness casts off its load, and gayly goes From the intolerant storm to rest awhile, In love's true heart, sure haven of repose; Does not pain's veriest transports learn to smile From that bright eloquence affection gave To friendly looks?--there, finds not pain a grave? In all creation did I stand alone, Still to the rocks my dreams a soul should find, Mine arms should wreathe themselves around the stone, My griefs should feel a listener in the wind; My joy--its echo in the caves should be! Fool, if ye will--Fool, for sweet sympathy! We are dead groups of matter when we hate; But when we love we are as gods!--Unto The gentle fetters yearning, through each state And shade of being multiform, and through All countless spirits (save of all the sire)-- Moves, breathes, and blends, the one divine desire.
Lo! arm in arm, through every upward grade, From the rude mongrel to the starry Greek, Who the fine link between the mortal made, And heaven's last seraph--everywhere we seek Union and bond--till in one sea sublime Of love be merged all measure and all time! Friendless ruled God His solitary sky; He felt the want, and therefore souls were made, The blessed mirrors of his bliss!--His eye No equal in His loftiest works surveyed; And from the source whence souls are quickened, He Called His companion forth--ETERNITY!

Written by |


I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
   When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
   When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
   Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
   And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting—
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
   When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
   But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!

Written by William Butler Yeats |

Among School Children


I walk through the long schoolroom questioning;
A kind old nun in a white hood replies;
The children learn to cipher and to sing,
To study reading-books and histories,
To cut and sew, be neat in everything
In the best modern way - the children's eyes
In momentary wonder stare upon
A sixty-year-old smiling public man.
II I dream of a Ledaean body, bent Above a sinking fire.
a tale that she Told of a harsh reproof, or trivial event That changed some childish day to tragedy - Told, and it seemed that our two natures blent Into a sphere from youthful sympathy, Or else, to alter Plato's parable, Into the yolk and white of the one shell.
III And thinking of that fit of grief or rage I look upon one child or t'other there And wonder if she stood so at that age - For even daughters of the swan can share Something of every paddler's heritage - And had that colour upon cheek or hair, And thereupon my heart is driven wild: She stands before me as a living child.
IV Her present image floats into the mind - Did Quattrocento finger fashion it Hollow of cheek as though it drank the wind And took a mess of shadows for its meat? And I though never of Ledaean kind Had pretty plumage once - enough of that, Better to smile on all that smile, and show There is a comfortable kind of old scarecrow.
V What youthful mother, a shape upon her lap Honey of generation had betrayed, And that must sleep, shriek, struggle to escape As recollection or the drug decide, Would think her Son, did she but see that shape With sixty or more winters on its head, A compensation for the pang of his birth, Or the uncertainty of his setting forth? VI Plato thought nature but a spume that plays Upon a ghostly paradigm of things; Solider Aristotle played the taws Upon the bottom of a king of kings; World-famous golden-thighed Pythagoras Fingered upon a fiddle-stick or strings What a star sang and careless Muses heard: Old clothes upon old sticks to scare a bird.
VII Both nuns and mothers worship images, But thos the candles light are not as those That animate a mother's reveries, But keep a marble or a bronze repose.
And yet they too break hearts - O presences That passion, piety or affection knows, And that all heavenly glory symbolise - O self-born mockers of man's enterprise; VIII Labour is blossoming or dancing where The body is not bruised to pleasure soul.
Nor beauty born out of its own despair, Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer, Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole? O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance?

More great poems below...

Written by Ted Hughes |

Crow and the Sea

He tried ignoring the sea 
But it was bigger than death, just as it was bigger than life.
He tried talking to the sea But his brain shuttered and his eyes winced from it as from open flame.
He tried sympathy for the sea But it shouldered him off - as a dead thing shoulders you off.
He tried hating the sea But instantly felt like a scrutty dry rabbit-dropping on the windy cliff.
He tried just being in the same world as the sea But his lungs were not deep enough And his cheery blood banged off it Like a water-drop off a hot stove.
Finally He turned his back and he marched away from the sea As a crucified man cannot move.

Written by Paul Laurence Dunbar |


 Therefore I dare reveal my private woe, 
The secret blots of my imperfect heart, 
Nor strive to shrink or swell mine own desert, 
Nor beautify nor hide.
For this I know, That even as I am, thou also art.
Thou past heroic forms unmoved shalt go, To pause and bide with me, to whisper low: "Not I alone am weak, not I apart Must suffer, struggle, conquer day by day.
Here is my very cross by strangers borne, Here is my bosom-sin wherefrom I pray Hourly deliverance--this my rose, my thorn.
This woman my soul's need can understand, Stretching o'er silent gulfs her sister hand.

Written by Ralph Waldo Emerson |

To Eva

O FAIR and stately maid whose eyes 
Were kindled in the upper skies 
At the same torch that lighted mine; 
For so I must interpret still 
Thy sweet dominion o'er my will 5 
A sympathy divine.
Ah! let me blameless gaze upon Features that seem at heart my own; Nor fear those watchful sentinels Who charm the more their glance forbids 10 Chaste-glowing underneath their lids With fire that draws while it repels.

Written by Thomas Hardy |

The Sick God


 In days when men had joy of war, 
A God of Battles sped each mortal jar; 
 The peoples pledged him heart and hand, 
 From Israel's land to isles afar.
II His crimson form, with clang and chime, Flashed on each murk and murderous meeting-time, And kings invoked, for rape and raid, His fearsome aid in rune and rhyme.
III On bruise and blood-hole, scar and seam, On blade and bolt, he flung his fulgid beam: His haloes rayed the very gore, And corpses wore his glory-gleam.
IV Often an early King or Queen, And storied hero onward, knew his sheen; 'Twas glimpsed by Wolfe, by Ney anon, And Nelson on his blue demesne.
V But new light spread.
That god's gold nimb And blazon have waned dimmer and more dim; Even his flushed form begins to fade, Till but a shade is left of him.
VI That modern meditation broke His spell, that penmen's pleadings dealt a stroke, Say some; and some that crimes too dire Did much to mire his crimson cloak.
VII Yea, seeds of crescive sympathy Were sown by those more excellent than he, Long known, though long contemned till then - The gods of men in amity.
VIII Souls have grown seers, and thought out-brings The mournful many-sidedness of things With foes as friends, enfeebling ires And fury-fires by gaingivings! IX He scarce impassions champions now; They do and dare, but tensely--pale of brow; And would they fain uplift the arm Of that faint form they know not how.
X Yet wars arise, though zest grows cold; Wherefore, at whiles, as 'twere in ancient mould He looms, bepatched with paint and lath; But never hath he seemed the old! XI Let men rejoice, let men deplore.
The lurid Deity of heretofore Succumbs to one of saner nod; The Battle-god is god no more.

Written by George (Lord) Byron |

To Romance

 Parent of golden dreams, Romance!
Auspicious Queen of childish joys,
Who lead'st along, in airy dance,
Thy votive train of girls and boys;
At length, in spells no longer bound,
I break the fetters of my youth;
No more I tread thy mystic round,
But leave thy realms for those of Truth.
And yet 'tis hard to quit the dreams Which haunt the unsuspicious soul, Where every nymph a goddess seems, Whose eyes through rays immortal roll; While Fancy holds her boundless reign, And all assume a varied hue; When Virgins seem no longer vain, And even Woman's smiles are true.
And must we own thee, but a name, And from thy hall of clouds descend? Nor find a Sylph in every dame, A Pylades in every friend? But leave, at once, thy realms of air i To mingling bands of fairy elves; Confess that woman's false as fair, And friends have feeling for---themselves? With shame, I own, I've felt thy sway; Repentant, now thy reign is o'er; No more thy precepts I obey, No more on fancied pinions soar; Fond fool! to love a sparkling eye, And think that eye to truth was dear; To trust a passing wanton's sigh, And melt beneath a wanton's tear! Romance! disgusted with deceit, Far from thy motley court I fly, Where Affectation holds her seat, And sickly Sensibility; Whose silly tears can never flow For any pangs excepting thine; Who turns aside from real woe, To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine.
Now join with sable Sympathy, With cypress crown'd, array'd in weeds, Who heaves with thee her simple sigh, Whose breast for every bosom bleeds; And call thy sylvan female choir, To mourn a Swain for ever gone, Who once could glow with equal fire, But bends not now before thy throne.
Ye genial Nymphs, whose ready tears On all occasions swiftly flow; Whose bosoms heave with fancied fears, With fancied flames and phrenzy glow Say, will you mourn my absent name, Apostate from your gentle train An infant Bard, at least, may claim From you a sympathetic strain.
Adieu, fond race! a long adieu! The hour of fate is hovering nigh; E'en now the gulf appears in view, Where unlamented you must lie: Oblivion's blackening lake is seen, Convuls'd by gales you cannot weather, Where you, and eke your gentle queen, Alas! must perish altogether.

Written by Robert William Service |

Window Shopper

 I stood before a candy shop
Which with a Christmas radiance shone;
I saw my parents pass and stop
To grin at me and then go on.
The sweets were heaped in gleamy rows; On each I feasted - what a game! Against the glass with flatted nose, Gulping my spittle as it came; So still I stood, and stared and dreamed, Savouring sweetness with my eyes, Devouring dainties till it seemed My candy shop was paradise.
I had, I think, but five years old, And though three-score and ten have passed, I still recall the craintive cold, The grimy street, the gritty blast; And how I stared into that shop, Its gifts so near and yet so far, Of marzipan and toffee drop, Of chocolate and walnut bar; Imagining what I would buy Amid delights so rich and rare .
The glass was misted with my sigh: "If just one penny Pop could spare!" And then when I went home to tea Of bread and butter sparsely spread, Oh, how my parents twitted me: "You stood for full an hour," they said.
"We saw you as we passed again; Your eyes upon the sweets were glued; Your nose was flattened to the pane, Like someone hypnotized you stood.
" But when they laughed as at a joke, A bitterness I could not stem Within my little heart awoke.
Oh, I have long forgiven them; For though I know they did no own Pennies to spare, they might, it seems More understanding love have shown More sympathy for those vain dreams, Which make of me with wistful gaze God's Window Shopper all days.

Written by Osip Mandelstam |

I don't remember the word I wished to say

 I don’t remember the word I wished to say.
The blind swallow returns to the hall of shadow, on shorn wings, with the translucent ones to play.
The song of night is sung without memory, though.
No birds.
No blossoms on the dried flowers.
The manes of night’s horses are translucent.
An empty boat drifts on the naked river.
Lost among grasshoppers the word’s quiescent.
It swells slowly like a shrine, or a canvas sheet, hurling itself down, mad, like Antigone, or falls, now, a dead swallow at our feet.
with a twig of greenness, and a Stygian sympathy.
O, to bring back the diffidence of the intuitive caress, and the full delight of recognition.
I am so fearful of the sobs of The Muses, the mist, the bell-sounds, perdition.
Mortal creatures can love and recognise: sound may pour out, for them, through their fingers, and overflow: I don’t remember the word I wished to say, and a fleshless thought returns to the house of shadow.
The translucent one speaks in another guise, always the swallow, dear one, Antigone.
on the lips the burning of black ice, and Stygian sounds in the memory.

Written by Robert William Service |


 Because I have ten thousand pounds I sit upon my stern,
And leave my living tranquilly for other folks to earn.
For in some procreative way that isn't very clear, Ten thousand pounds will breed, they say, five hundred every year.
So as I have a healthy hate of economic strife, I mean to stand aloof from it the balance of my life.
And yet with sympathy I see the grimy son of toil, And heartly congratulate the tiller of the soil.
I like the miner in the mine, the sailor on the sea, Because up to five hundred pounds they sail and mine for me.
For me their toil is taxed unto that annual extent, According to the holy shibboleth of Five-per-Cent.
So get ten thousand pounds, my friend, in any way you can.
And leave your future welfare to the noble Working Man.
He'll buy you suits of Harris tweed, an Airedale and a car; Your golf clubs and your morning Times, your whisky and cigar.
He'll cosily install you in a cottage by a stream, With every modern comfort, and a garden that's a dream> Or if your tastes be urban, he'll provide you with a flat, Secluded from the clamour of the proletariat.
With pictures, music, easy chairs, a table of good cheer, A chap can manage nicely on five hundred pounds a year.
And though around you painful signs of industry you view, Why should you work when you can make your money work for you? So I'll get down upon my knees and bless the Working Man, Who offers me a life of ease through all my mortal span; Whose loins are lean to make me fat, who slaves to keep me free, Who dies before his prime to let me round the century; Whose wife and children toil in urn until their strength is spent, That I may live in idleness upon my five-per-cent.
And if at times they curse me, why should I feel any blame? For in my place I know that they would do the very same.
Aye, though hey hoist a flag that's red on Sunday afternoon, Just offer them ten thousand pounds and see them change their tune.
So I'll enjoy my dividends and live my life with zest, And bless the mighty men who first - invented Interest.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

For The Foxes

 don't feel sorry for me.
I am a competent, satisfied human being.
be sorry for the others who fidget complain who constantly rearrange their lives like furniture.
juggling mates and attitudes their confusion is constant and it will touch whoever they deal with.
beware of them: one of their key words is "love.
" and beware those who only take instructions from their God for they have failed completely to live their own lives.
don't feel sorry for me because I am alone for even at the most terrible moments humor is my companion.
I am a dog walking backwards I am a broken banjo I am a telephone wire strung up in Toledo, Ohio I am a man eating a meal this night in the month of September.
put your sympathy aside.
they say water held up Christ: to come through you better be nearly as lucky.

Written by Emily Dickinson |

The butterfly obtains

 The butterfly obtains
But little sympathy
Though favorably mentioned
In Entomology --

Because he travels freely
And wears a proper coat
The circumspect are certain
That he is dissolute --

Had he the homely scutcheon
Of modest Industry
'Twere fitter certifying
For Immortality --

Written by Robert William Service |


 In Paris on a morn of May
I sent a radio transalantic
To catch a steamer on the way,
But oh the postal fuss was frantic;
They sent me here, they sent me there,
They were so courteous yet so canny;
Then as I wilted in despair
A Frenchman flipped me on the fanny.
'Twas only juts a gentle pat, Yet oh what sympathy behind it! I don't let anyone do that, But somehow then I didn't mind it.
He seemed my worry to divine, With kindly smile, that foreign mannie, And as we stood in waiting line With tender touch he tapped my fanny.
It brought a ripple of romance Into that postal bureau dreary; He gave me such a smiling glance That somehow I felt gay and cheery.
For information on my case The postal folk searched nook and cranny; He gently tapped, with smiling face, His reassurance on my fanny.
So I'll go back to Tennessee, And they will ask: "How have you spent your Brief holiday in gay Paree?" But I'll not speak of my adventure.
Oh say I'm spectacled and grey, Oh say I'm sixty and a grannie - But say that morn of May A Frenchman flipped me on the fanny!

Written by Christina Rossetti |

From 'Later Life'

We lack, yet cannot fix upon the lack: 
Not this, nor that; yet somewhat, certainly.
We see the things we do not yearn to see Around us: and what see we glancing back? Lost hopes that leave our hearts upon the rack, Hopes that were never ours yet seem’d to be, For which we steer’d on life’s salt stormy sea Braving the sunstroke and the frozen pack.
If thus to look behind is all in vain, And all in vain to look to left or right, Why face we not our future once again, Launching with hardier hearts across the main, Straining dim eyes to catch the invisible sight, And strong to bear ourselves in patient pain? IX Star Sirius and the Pole Star dwell afar Beyond the drawings each of other’s strength: One blazes through the brief bright summer’s length Lavishing life-heat from a flaming car; While one unchangeable upon a throne Broods o’er the frozen heart of earth alone, Content to reign the bright particular star Of some who wander or of some who groan.
They own no drawings each of other’s strength, Nor vibrate in a visible sympathy, Nor veer along their courses each toward Yet are their orbits pitch’d in harmony Of one dear heaven, across whose depth and length Mayhap they talk together without speech.